The revisions to our phonics scheme of work after the use of GL Assessment’s New Group Reading Test (NGRT) and Progress Test English (PTE) are testament to this. We have been able to put in place new interventions for individuals or groups for which data may raise a concern, and more generally consider whether our wider practice could be adapted to further promote academic and personal progress.
The data is key to analysing trends and looking for patterns that might be suggestive of areas for improvement. This was never more valuable than post-lockdown, when an identified concern around progress in students’ reading arose from the use of NGRT. Detailed analysis of test feedback, together with teachers’ own assessment information, supported the implementation of effective action in classrooms.
Educational Quality Inspection Excellence
We were inspected by the ISI in the autumn term and were delighted that their findings did justice to the hard work of our whole school community. When it came to evidencing the impact of our efforts, this was very explicit in the form of our data. By triangulating Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT4) and Progress Test Series data we were able to clearly demonstrate where we deemed further support for individual students to be necessary, with progress category information from the PT Series and NGRT evidencing the positive impact that intervention had on students’ learning.
The inspection report identified that “pupils’ attainment is well above national expectations” and that “a high rate of progress is maintained throughout the school.” The inspectors also noted that outcomes for identified groups of students (e.g. those with SEND and the most able) are particularly positive, and our ability to exemplify this through the reports available to us was critical.
Having such clarity in the reports, working closely with GL Assessment’s Assessment Insights team to further understand these and the implications for our practice, and then further analysing and unpicking the data within school meant that we went into the inspection process confident in this objective tool and our application of it.
Evidence-based decision-making – from everyone
Over many years, we have been able to verify the high levels of attainment and progress across our school and measure the significant impact of the decisions that we take based on that evidence – the ISI inspection report attests to this. The resultant effect on how the school is perceived, both internally and externally, is testament to that evidence-based decision-making.
Through further scrutiny of our data, we have been able to identify standards that students wishing to follow pathways to local senior schools may need to be meeting as early as a couple of years prior to transition. We are able to share with prospective and existing parents the “good news” stories that result from sending a child to our school. Above all else, we are able to make reliably informed judgements about how best to move learning forwards for the young people in our care.
Yarrells School is one of our Advocate Partners.